Common Students' Writing Mistakes in the Personal Statements

It is obvious that grades are vital for those applying to a graduate school. However, excellent scores as well as a high GRE point will not make you outshine thousands of other applicants with the same grades.

Therefore, what should applicants do to stand out from the crowd of other candidates? The answer is clear: it is necessary to create an outstanding and thought-provoking personal statement. Note that such a piece of writing has to be flawless. Thus, try to avoid major students’ writing mistakes in the personal statements.

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Do you remember all the efforts you have made to achieve excellent results, exhausting exams and a number of complicated assignments you have done? You should mention all that information in your personal statement. Thus, the admission board will see that you are a diligent student who deserves being accepted.

However, mind not to be too imaginative when composing your personal statement. Try to find the golden mean, i.e. pick a reasonable tone of writing.

List of the Most Common Mistakes When Applying to a University

  • Hackneyed phrases

It is sometimes hard to avoid using clichés. Nevertheless, they are a sign of poor knowledge. They make the texts boring. Try to express your thoughts with the help of your own literary devices such as epithets, metaphors and others.

  • Repetition

Do not include the data about your awards, achievements, GPA, or any other information that is mentioned in your application in your personal statement. It causes redundancy. Your paper has to be solid highlighting only fresh information.

  • Errors

Note that your personal statement should not contain any grammar and spelling mistakes. Otherwise, the admission officers will not be able to fully grasp the meaning of your work. If you want to make sure that your work is free from errors, ask either your family or your friends to look it through. It is much easier to spot errors with fresh eyes.

  • Jargons

It is evident that using jargon or slang in a personal statement is unacceptable. Do not neglect this rule!

  • Quotes

Quotations can be rather motivating especially if they are said by distinguished writers. However, other people’s quotes will not help the board understand who you are. That is why it is better to avoid including them in your piece of writing.

  • Overstatements

One of the most common students’ writing mistakes in the personal statements is using hyperboles. Demonstrating your intellectual skills is great, still there is no need to exaggerate some statements when producing your application paper. Believe that it will not impress the committee.

  • Plagiarized content

Today, getting examples of application papers is not difficult. Nonetheless, you should not submit them as your own piece of writing. Why? The point is that at present, there are a great number of different programs that can easily detect copied material. Thus, why put your future at stake? Besides, the pattern written by someone else will not let the admission board identify how special you are.

  • Other people

When crafting your personal statement, avoid providing too much information about your friends, relatives, teachers, etc. Your work has to be concentrated on your personality and the points that make you unique.

  • Negative points

Make sure your application essay is focused on positive things. It is better not to mention your past academic experience. Additionally, you should not provide information about the difficult issues you have faced unless this is the topic of your personal statement.

  • Finance

Avoid providing any data about money in your paper. Even if you are trying to get a financial support from a specific establishment, you should not talk about money when writing your work.

  • Egoism

It is clear that you want to prove that you are better than other applicants. However, you should do it in a reasonable way. If you boast about your superior qualities or great accomplishments, the admission officers may interpret it wrongly. In order to demonstrate that you are a good applicant, you should describe the situation where you have applied your skills. This is the best way of presenting yourself to the admission board.

  • Jokes

Very often students try to demonstrate their superiority with the help of different funny tricks. However, showing your sense of humor in the application paper can be rather risky. Therefore, do some deep thinking before deciding to include some jokes in your work. Remember that those reading your paper may not understand your jokes.

  • Confessions

Do your best to make your personal statement concentrated on your academic objectives and career aspirations. There is no need to reveal your innermost secrets in your piece of writing to attract the board’s attention.


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